I just bought more expensive, healthier yoghurt pouches that I really can’t afford and I told my kids they can’t eat them.
I know, I know, you’re all like ‘uh Carmen, why did you buy them if they can’t eat them?’ Let me tell you!
It is because #biggestlittle starts pre-school on Monday and I’m already bracing myself for the lunchbox guilt.
We are a relatively healthy household. In June last year we cut out most of the basic junk from our lives (sweets, soft drink etc) and since then we’ve made additional tweaks here and there to hit that next level ‘healthy home’ – swapping regular flour for coconut or almond flour, giving sugar the flick, making spreads from scratch, actually making everything from scratch when we can.
But seeing some of the supermum lunch boxes that kids get these days has me feeling a little low.
I don’t even know why I’m panicking. Possibly (read: definitely) because of old mate anxiety. Our kids usually choose tomoatoes over lollies, they’ve never had soft drink, and they live for the free fruit basket at Woolies. There’s really not a big adjustment to be made. But that nasty little voice in my head is telling me it’s not enough.
Please don’t think that I’m sitting here all holier than thou looking down on others who choose to do things differently. No, no, no. It took us a long time to get here, and we are far from perfect. The kids still get the occasional Maccas meal and spend Christmas getting hyped up and Boxing Day crashing down. Easter still involves chocolate (and yes supermarkets, I saw you stocking the shelves with brightly coloured foil covered animals whilst the garbage trucks were still straining under the weight of scrunched up wrapping paper and empty Shopkins blind bags), and birthdays are still all about the cake.
The point I’m trying to make is that we are a healthy home and I still feel incredible pressure to provide a very specific kind of tucker for the little tacker. I’ve been Youtubing, Googling, and Pintresting my fingers off. My most used words may now be ‘lunchbox’, ‘Sugar-free’, and ‘kids’ ( kids because otherwise I get a heap of mason jar salads perfect for the office!)
I feel strongly that some of the pressure is good. No, seriously! Sometimes pressure is a good thing, because it makes me try harder. I strive to do better for my family.
And other times it just makes me crumble. I break, and instead of trying my hardest to adapt I retreat, sometimes literally – jumping into my bed and assuming the foetal position.
We need to find the balance. Not everyone is in the same place and that’s ok, it’s not my life, not my children, not my circus.
Of course children should eat healthy, nutritious foods, we all know that, but we shouldn’t shame those who don’t have the same mindset. We are all on our own journey. Perhaps we could gently see if someone is open to advice while being careful not to have a condescending undertone, or we could share our advice to the public in a place they can see and leave it in their hands.
My kids will have healthy lunch boxes majority of the time, but some days I just won’t have the energy to do anymore than a jam sandwich, an apple, and a biscuit and I shouldn’t have to feel guilty about that. No one should.
Strive to be healthy, cook together, make mistakes, try new things, and make sure you laugh while you do it – we’re making memories and creating lifelong connections with food here!
The Simpsons say you don’t make friends with salad, perhaps it’s time we consider that Homer may not be the incredibly sexy, intelligent, healthy role model he was so clearly designed to be.
Disclaimer, because internet – I am not saying that we should ever ignore situations where a child is actually being neglected. #commonsense #hopefullythatsobvious
Before I had kids I was the boss of the house
But that title belongs to the threenager now
I used to go out with the boy acting flirty
Now I'm crawling into bed at around nine thirty
And if ever name drop, it's not in quite the same way
Cause now I brag when my blog gets shared by Pinky McKay
The washing overwhelms me and the toys are multiplying
And shopping isn't fun now that it's groceries I'm buying
I'm kissing all the boo-boo's and I'm wiping all the tears
And when they have a night terror I chase away their fears
Car drives aren't for fun these days, no more quick trips down the coast
It's like they think they win a prize if they are the one that screams the most
Wake up, no make-up, mum bun in, make them breakkie, feed the baby, chuck nappies in the bin
One wants toast, and one wants weetbix, one needs milk right now
And all I want is to find a way to get a coffee in somehow
Whenever we have the TV on it's never on for me
No, it's Wiggles, Octonauts, Play School - look through the window what do you see?
No really it's great I love my kids, I'm so lucky to be a mum
But I've gotta be honest I'd like time alone, at least while I wipe my bum
Kiss them goodnight, let out a big sigh, another day done and dusted
Sit on the couch with a coffee and relax, hear 'MUUUUM' - oh, crap I've been busted.
Okay here goes, my 2016 year in review! Get ready to take a trip down memory lane, see where we are at now, and read about my hopes for 2017.
2016 was not kind to my family. There were some high peaks, and some bloody low pits.
In 2016 I started my blog. My baby. My virtual ‘Dear Diary’. This was a peak. I have attempted to blog many times before but it never clicked like this one did. It was the right time. I have some amazingly kind, caring, and supportive readers, who have reminded me I’m not alone, lifted my spirits, and thanked me for doing the same in return. I feel so lucky to have such wonderful keyboard companions.
So often I hear ‘You should love yourself’.
Of course you should. You should love yourself for the strong, intelligent person that you are. You should love yourself for doing the best you can. You should love yourself for being the best version of you possible.